Curio Skin Care: Potions for Skeptics

Dear Readers, do you know Kristin? Otherwise know as or @k_line on Twitter? Sewist, knitter, legendary bra fit expert, and (lucky me) a local-ish friend? Well, over the winter she started making her own skincare products, and now she’s launched her own Etsy store selling her potions! Or, as she says“natural skincare which is not fussy, which is elegant and which is sustainably sourced (to the best of my abilities). I will pay for quality, but I will not pay for a name. Oh, and all the things must smell fucking awesome because everything should.”  Amen to that!

During her testing phase, Kristin sent me a few products to try out for free, and in return, here are my honest reviews!

lip balm Collage

Lip Balm

The final packaging is different than I have, but the lip balm is the same!

This lip balm is great! It’s solid in the tin, but melts as I swirl my finger around. On the lips it feels more like an oil than the kind of waxy balm I usually prefer when I’m out and about, so I keep this one in the living room for a bit of evening-time luxury. The peppermint scent is light, and the tin will last forever since a little seems to go a long way!

serum Collage

Serum A

This product was a revelation to me – serums can be oils? I’ve only started using serums recently, and I’m used to a gel formula. Makes sense though – there’s lots of buzz about facial oils on beauty blogs lately. One pump of this gives you just a wee pool of oil in the palm of your hand, which can be rubbed on neat, or mixed with a drop of water/toner. I tend to use it right after I’ve washed my face, so my hand is already wet. Easy peasy! One pump for the face, one for the neck.

Now serum is quite a new category of skincare – so what is it? The best description I’ve heard is that it’s the heavy-hitter in your skincare regime. Your cleanser cleanses, your moisturizer stays near the surface and adds moisture, your sunscreen blocks damage… so it’s your serum that actual delivers skin benefits. Use it after cleansing and before moisturizing (although since I have oily skin, I use serum instead of a moisturizer.)

As for this serum in particular… you can read about it’s ingredients and their benefits here on Kristin’s blog. I like it a lot as a nighttime serum – my skin looks quite oily right after application (duh, it’s oil) but by morning my skin feels soft and well-cared for. If I was less rushed in the mornings, I *might* try this as a daytime serum (Kristin does) but as is, I feel like foundation would just slide right off. I’m happy to report this doesn’t aggravate my sensitive skin. Thumbs up!

perfume Collage

Roll-On Fragrance

Scent is such an individual thing – and this one just isn’t for me. I like the formulation and the little roller-ball applicator… but the grapefruit oil starts to smell like chewable vitamin c tablets on me! It also contains ylang-ylang, jasmine and ceder, which sound lovely, but I confess all I smell is citrus. (Forgive me, I’ve never been one for perfume!) If/when Kristin comes out with another scent, I’d love to give it a try.

salve Collage

Arnica Salve

I received this salve before Kristin posted about it’s uses, so I merrily experimented by using it as hand cream, lip balm, and even trying it on my face. All successful! Yet it turns out that the arnica flowers and marjoram in the salve are actually chosen to make it perfect for rubbing into sore joints and tired muscles. Oops! I love it on my hands though – my knuckles get dry and itchy from the terrible institutional soap at work, and one application of this leaves them soft and smooth. The salve has a lovely clean scent, almost like tea tree oil (which I love). Mmmm. I just slathered it on my hands as I type!

There are a handful of other products I haven’t tried: deodorant, body oil, other salves and eye cream. The Etsy store has a clear rundown of all the ingredients in each product, plus Kristin has posts on her blog (listed in the right-hand sidebar) giving more detail.

If you are interested in skincare, here are a couple of links to explore:

  • Caroline Hirons: British skincare consultant with tons of useful reviews and info on her blog. I like this list of where to spend/save money in your skincare regime!
  • Lisa Eldridge: Professional makeup artist form the UK. If you have time and want to pamper yourself, you could try out her facial massage routine with your lovely Curio serum – or maybe just zone out watching her apply makeup. Sooooo soothing!
  • Sali Hughes; Beauty writer for the Guardian (I’m slightly embarrassed that all three experts I’m suggesting are British – must be all my obsessive BBC watching that makes me trust a British voice more!) no-nonsense reviews and chatty videos, like this one about dehydrated skin.


Now, I’m not a big skincare buff, but I find it fascinating and I figure that at 32, I should look after my skin now before it starts to sag. And Kristin is just the person I’d trust to steer me right: she’s obsessive about quality in sewing, food, lingerie, yoga, and everything else, so I trust her to do her research about ingredient benefits, formulations, storage, and quality. She is in it for love, not as a get-rich-quick scheme (she’s a well-established public servant) and most importantly, I like all the products I’ve tried!

Thanks for coming along with me on this detour from my regular blogging… back to sewing in my next post! 😉 Oh, and while we are being all girly – got any skincare/make-up blogs you like to follow?

*Oh, and the fabric in the photos is Nani Iro double gauze, in case you were wondering! 

8 thoughts on “Curio Skin Care: Potions for Skeptics

    1. It’s always hard to watch just one! 😉 I don’t know why, but makeup/skincare videos put me in such a happy zen state.


  1. I don’t use expensive face creams so these look lovely. I do splurge on make up though, Nars and MAC for me. Do you ever watch the Pixiewoo channel on You Tube? Those girls are so talented. I love the looks that they do. Xx


    1. I would *like* to splurge on makeup, but I’m always afraid of wasting my money! One day I’ll be ready for the big leagues. 😉 And yes, Pixiwoo are great – I’ve got some of their brushes and they do a great job!


  2. Wow -that was quite an intro G! As per our tweets – I’m confident we’re going to come up with a roll on perfume that knocks your socks off. Since I have ALL the oils in the universe, it’s just a matter of determining which you like best. Sometimes our body chemistries eat through one kind of scent faster than others (just like with perfume you might buy at the department store). I suspect your body likes the base notes and leaves you with a cloying sort of citrus aftertaste. But I do love a challenge. Thanks so much for being a fantastic tester and for your honest feedback.


  3. I had never heard of Caroline Heron until this post and now I’m totally hooked on her blog! I fell down the skincare rabbit hole this week researching all the stuff I should and shouldn’t be using. It’s been a fun week reading reviews of beauty products.


Leave a Reply to Katie Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.